cheese

a list of wonderful cheeses

*all good; all stars bolded*

Sheep’s Milk (all)

  • Petit Agur- Basque French Pyranees. Pasturized. Semi-firm
  • Abbey de Belloc Basque, French Pyranees. Semi-firm. a plus, it is made by Benedictine Monks
  • Oussau Iraty– Basque, French Pyranees. Semi-firm. Yummy with Barbera. Best if produced June-Sept, but I see and eat it year round.
  • Tomme du Levezou– French Pyrenee; unpasturized raw aged 6 mo. Semi-firm.
  • Prato di Santadi– Italian sheep. Did not note firmness.
  • Sardo Maduro – Firm.
  • Garazi– French Basque (I may have this wrong…maybe it’s cow?)
  • Lavort Pyrenees – Auvergne. pricey; v special. Unpasturized, old (ages 120-180 days) uncooked | pressed.
  • Argo-French. Did not note firmness.
  • Brin d’amour -Corsica. soft like a goat. crusted with herb so (doh) herbacious. Very seasonal.
  • Serra da Estrella– Portuguese (DOP). Amazing. Handmade. Dates back to 12 c. Made Nov-Feb. Love it buttery and runny vs. when it is more aged, firmer and stinkier. Made w/thistles (may be wrapped in it).
  • Perail de Brebis (Perac) – French. Very mild, gooey disc with edible rind. Easier to find.

Cow’s Milk, Hard:

  • Bandaged wrapped reserve cheddar from Fiscalini Farms, CA.
  • Guernsey Tomme – 6 wk old raw cheese wrapped in chestnut leaves, from Sally Jackson
  • Laguiole Grand Aubrac, Jeune Montagne – Crumby texture, sweet. Makes fantastic cheese paninis
  • Campo de Montalbano– Spanish cow/goat/sheep mix. slightly sweet.
  • Prima Donna -pasturized aged Gouda. Dutch. Nutty texture. OK w/tannic reds. Namesake of this site.
  • Spenwood – cheddars complex cousin.
  • (D’Alpage) Beaufort– Savoie region of the Alps, “uber-Gruyere”. Unpasturized.
    Note: “D’Alpage” b/4 Beaufort means it is made from milk taken from a special breed of mountain cows .
    Note 2: Look for Schmidhauser, a great producer of Savoie cheeses.
  • Tete de Moin – very nutty, firm unpasturized Swiss cheese. Best when cut into paper thin slices using a girolle.

Cow’s Milk, Semi-firm:

  • Sola Val Casotto – Piemontese cow & sheep blend.
  • Chaubier– cow & goat blend. Semi soft and mild.
  • Gaperon(e) – Touraine, France (SW region). Slightly crumbly
  • Tomme Crayeuse – French; delicate texture, like Havarti. Don’t eat rind. Try with Carignane. (note: Tomme is is a generic term used to describe cheese made from cow’s milk with a hard, grey rind. sounds pretty, no?)
  • Sottocenere – a semi soft from Veneta, Italy, aged in ash flavored with spices and dotted with truffles.

Cow’s Milk, Soft:

  • Poudre PuffBingham Hill. Pasturized 2 1/2 weeks old. Tumbleweed is the version with herbs on top.
  • Fromage de Meaux– rich creamy brie, aged 4-6 weeks. Comes in wooden box. Brie de Nangis is a bit mellower.
  • Fromage d’Afinois – double cream. 3x calcium as brie! Easy to find.
  • Fougerus – brie family. fern leaf on top, bloomy rind. cow. $19/lb. Red Burgandy and Rhone. Aged under 60 days so past in US (unless contraband 🙂
  • Jean Grogne– France. Like Brescianella. Triple cream and pasturized.
  • Brillat Savarin-triple cream, Normandy, France. Aged 1-2 weeks. Classic with Champagne.
  • Rocchetta – Italy. similar to La Tur.
  • La Tur – French mix of cow, sheep and goat.
  • Brescianella Stagionata– Great! Regular Brescianella also good but stinky!
  • St. Killians– Irish. Very runny. Served on a spoon the one time i had it (in Boston). Best cheese ever?
  • Pra de L’O – a more robust robiola. Not stinky but flavorful. Sold in rounds.
  • Green Hillfrom Sweet Grass Dairy in Georgia. Unbelievable.
  • Taleggio– washed rind, pungent cheese of Lombardy, Italy
  • Robiola – Tres Leche (or Tre Latte no due latte!). 50 – 60 days aged. Pasturized in US. Another kind, Valsassina Robiola is also great but (kinda stinky)
  • Burrata, newbie mozzarella. my favorite remains Gioia (626 444 6015) vs. Italian imports. Try drizzled with good olive oil topped with some good sea salt, served with toasted bread.
  • Epoisse– unpasturized washed rind. Stinky. Look for Berthaut as producer.
  • Bethmale– Pyranese.  Pungent, creamy.  Traditionally made from goats milk but today, cow is more common (and delicious)
  • Red Hawk – triple cream made by Cowgirl Creamery
  • Fior di Langha – sheep/cow/goat from Langha, Italy. Truly tasty. Pairs well w/Chianti.
  • Hudson Valley CamembertOld Chadham Shephard Co, NY. blend of sheep & cow. My niece loves.
  • Picolo –triple cream cow. By Adante Dairy. Amazing texture and taste.
  • Cimonino Valsassina -Lombardy, Italy (V-a valley in Lomb). Intense, creamy, partially moldy rind, log shaped.

Goat’s Milk, Hard and Semi-firm:

  • Toma di Capra – Italian
  • Sunlight – from Haystack Mountain
  • Tickelmore– semi hard, crumbly. Aged 2-6 months. Produced by Neals Yard in England.
  • Melange– a cow/goat mix. Adante.

Goat’s Milk, Soft

  • Snowdrop – Haystack Mountain round blob. Super rich on the inside.
  • Haystack Peak -Haystack Mountain – conical. More crumbly than snowdrop but creamy on the edges
  • Chabis feuille – soft goat wrapped in chestnut leaf, from loire valley. excellent w/sauvignon blanc.
  • Valencay– pyramid shaped goat; firmer but like boucheron. try w/loire whites like sancerre, quincy.
  • Humbolt Fog
  • Minuet – goat based triple cream by Adante
  • Cana de Cabra – Think Boucheron. From the Murcia region of Spain. A great value too.

Blue Cheeses

  • Blu di Erborinati Val Pusteria. A cow milk cheese from the Alto Adige region of Italy
  • Bleu d’Auvergne. Cows milk cheese from France
  • Roaring 40s – Australian. Named for winds that blow across the 40th parallel. Always popular.
  • Shropshire -English cow, v yellow, semi soft. Crumbly. Excellent producer is Neals Yard.
  • Montbriac-rich & creamy w/ash cave ripening cow made in Auvergne, France. A milder blue.
  • Valdeon – Spanish creamy cow. My fave in this category.

Cheeses I don’t like:

(equally important to note as you can’t always try b/4 you buy)

  • La Petit – a fresh goat cheese from the Loire.
  • Casel Blue – an English blue cow.
  • Mahon and Roncal-2 popular Spanish cheese – cow and sheep, respectively
  • Saenkanter – not so terrible but like other aged goudas better, like Prima Donna
  • Brin Erbe – soft goat cheese from northern Italy (I think Veneto), wrapped in herb. It was pretty sour.

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